OMB Maintains the Minimum Urban Area Population Needed to Qualify as an MSA After Advocacy From NADO and Partner Organizations

In July 2021, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that it will maintain the minimum urban area population needed to qualify as an MSA at the current population threshold of 50,000. OMB’s decision means that OMB will NOT raise the population threshold to 100,000 as was previously proposed in a federal register notice published in January 2021. NADO submitted comments opposing the proposed change earlier this year which expressed our concerns that the proposed change could have had negatively affected federal funding availability, among other potential impacts. Many NADO members also took action on this item, and we thank you for your engagement and attention to this issue. NADO is glad to share this positive outcome with our membership. From NADO’s perspective, OMB’s decision to maintain current population threshold levels is a positive decision which protects existing federal funding sources and prevents disruptions to statistical measurement and data products. More information about OMB’s decision on the proposed change can be found here.


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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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